With the American election less than two weeks away, people ought to be talking about election reform. Since both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton think the election is rigged, here are some ideas to make elections less prone to sabotage.
–Ban all postal/absentee voting
This is beyond scandalous. The idea that a vote can be cast without any proof of who is ticking the box is an insult to the concept of a free election. With increased security checks at US polling stations this election, it beggars belief that this practice should be allowed to continue.
In a recent interview with Infowars, Nigel Farage told of some of the practices in postal voting that lead to fraud. The classic example is elderly people being abused and exploited by those ‘helping them’ to fill out the ballot but whom in reality are voting for them.
Of course some of the sentiments behind postal voting are valid. What if someone is too frail to get to the polling station? The simple solution to this, is for a paid civil servant or police officer to attend the house of such a person on election day. If democracy matters, this matters.
–No early voting
America has been testing out something where people can vote prior to election day. This runs contrary to the concept of informed decision making. The campaign does not end until election day and whilst most people have made up their minds, not everyone has.
New revelations from Wikileaks are coming out every day. If someone voted for Hillary Clinton yesterday sees the new revelations on Hillary Clinton’s corruption and lies, this person cannot change his or her vote.
–Police officers should be in charge of polling stations
It’s very quaint to see the nice old ladies who volunteer to be workers at poll stations, but in an age of widespread corruption, this is not good enough. Of course the volunteers can continue to set up the desks and pour the coffee, but when it comes to policing the actual voting process, the identification of voters as citizen residence in the place where they seek to vote and counting the ballots, this should be done by actual uniformed police officers with special training in election ethics. Will this cost more? Yes. But is it worth it? Well, it is the cost of democracy.
–All polling stations should have CCTV
This is something Russia’s democracy pioneered. There is no more effective way to catch ballot box stuffing, voter intimidation or any other kinds of irregularities than having it filmed. The world should follow Russia’s lead on this and it is highly cost effective in this day and age.
–The problem of dual citizenship
Those with dual citizenship should only be allowed to vote in the country in which they spend 3/4ths of the year or more. It is ludicrous that theoretically, someone with lets say dual American and Latvian citizenship who spends 360 days in Latvia should be able to vote in an American election. This applies to any two countries. This ought to be changed so that the people voting will actually be voting for their own future and not that of effective foreigners.
–The Sound Mind Test
One cannot legally enter a contract if one is not of sound mind, even if the contract is for the exchange of an item of low value. Those who fail the sound mind test include people with permanent mental disorders, those who are actually unstable and those who are intoxicated.
Someone high as a kite on narcotics is not allowed to drive a car. Someone who is insane is not allowed to operate heavy machinery. Someone who is extremely drunk is not legally allowed to be served additional alcohol. Why then should such people be able to vote? Those with a clinical history of mental illness should be flagged on the voter registration rolls and sobriety tests should be mandatory at all polling stations.
This proposals will make for a freer, fairer and more secure election and ought to be applied uniformly across the world.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.